Posted on Monday, 25th February 2013 by admin
People seem to forget how well Stokes has done for us in our bread and butter games – the SPL. His first season – 2010-11 – was probably when Neil Lennon’s team played it’s best football, and a big part of that was the Stokes and Gary Hooper partnership, between them they scored 43 goals, with Stokes chipping in with 19. His second season was even more productive as he scored 21 goals as Celtic won the SPL title. Sadly he missed the first half of this season through injury, but he has recently returned to great effect.
Stokes knows that his contract runs out at the end of the season, and as a result he seems to have a new dimension to his game since his return, he is far more of a team player. In his last two starts, against Dundee United and Motherwell, he has scored two goals and created four. It’s this creative side which has made him far more of a team player, and in my opinion he should start most games between now and the end of the season, I also feel that we wouldn’t have dropped so many points earlier in the season if Stokes had been fit, he has often chipped in with big goals in SPL games. He hasn’t started many ‘big’ games for Celtic, but manager Neil Lennon has to be impressed with his recent performances and as a result he should start against St. Mirren in the cup and I would also play him against Juventus in the Big Cup. We need to score goals that night to even have a slim chance of getting through, and Stokes is currently the ideal man for that.
Earlier in the season it seemed a forlorn hope that Stokes would get a new contract, mainly due to off the pitch issues it has to be said, but since then Stokes has knuckled down and has once more become a vital player. It seems likely that Gary Hooper will leave during the summer, and it would be a big mistake letting a player like Stokes who can be just as prolific go, the signals seem to be that he will get a new contract, which is good news for a player many thought was finished at Celtic.